The education secretary says that much could be saved by redirecting some non-violent offenders away from prison, and the money used to boost salaries at high-poverty schools.
Civil rights groups are running radio ads aimed at lawmakers who may play a key role in rewriting the No Child Left Behind Act.
The two national teachers' unions and the group representing state schools chiefs are among those saying now's the time to complete an Elementary and Secondary Education Act rewrite.
Earlier this year, the Lone Star State essentially seemed to be daring U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to pull its flexibility.
The California Republican, elected in 2006, doesn't have nearly as long a resume on K-12 as did current Speaker John Boehner going into the job.
The U.S. Department of Education is awarding millions under the Charter School Program to fund new charters and expand high-performing networks.
Sources say that the National Education Association, the country's largest union, could endorse the Democratic candidate in a presidential primary battle as early as Friday
A long shutdown could disrupt aid to schools and colleges, the U.S. Department of Education warns.
States that have adopted new tests, or made significant changes to their old ones, will have to undergo peer review by the U.S. Department of Education within the next four to eight months, according to department officials.
The only district-level waiver from many of the mandates of the No Child Left Behind Act will be around for at least one more year.